Mentha aquatica L., also known as water mint, is a perennial, aromatic plant with significant medicinal value and which functions as a biomarker of heavy metal pollution. Until recently, it was thought to occur only in the meadow of Akrotiri, but new data showed the spread of the species in Paphos Forest and Rizokarpasos.
It is threatened due to the degradation of its habitat, changes in the water balance and uncontrolled grazing. As part of the “Restoration and sustainable use for Akrotiri and Kavo Pyla” project, three areas in the meadow where four endangered plant species occur, including water mint, were fenced to manage accessibility, and grazing for certain months of the year. In these areas, there are frequent records of vegetation species, new plantings and seed collection. So far, the results are only positive since all four plant species have already multiplied.
The project is funded by Darwin Plus UK, with partners BirdLife Cyprus (coordinator), Terra Cypria, British Bases Environment Department and RSPB (BirdLife UK). More information about the project: https://bit.ly/3RWGZwm